So I'm thinking.....how can I have sailed Arwen for seven years and still not worked out reefing? Well lots of fair weather sailing. Nough said!
So what have I just learned?
Keep the snotter loose when raising the sail. Then tighten up using downhaul and then tighten snotter to move boom aft until sail sets nicely with no creases. No wonder I get creases in the sail! Joel thinks this will loosen the leech and allow the yard to stand more vertically. Yes it will. Pity I didn't see that over the last seven years.
Making sure the throat is lashed tight to very bottom of the yard and halyard tied at one third up the yard will help. The loop of parrel beads needs to be a little tighter to keep the yard closer to the mast. I need to make sure that the parrel beads are down at the tack as well! Next, after reefing the tack returns to its normal position with lots of downhaul tension but not so much that it causes creases. Then the yard goes back up but not to its higher original position.
On getting into position, I tend to heave to but Wayne suggests I go head to wind, furl the jib and sheet in the mizzen. He also noted that after easing the snotter and downhaul, I should lower the halyard by the same amount as my reef. Moving the downhaul up to the reef grommet, the halyard should then be raised until the tack regains its original position and then really tension the downhaul. Then my slab reefing pulls the aft end of the boom up to the clew grommet. Finally the snotter is re tensioned. All I need do then is tie up the reef lines in the sail.
Avoid tightening the snotter before the downhaul to ensure no creases.......wow I've been doing that the wrong way for seven years. Well there we go......amazing how stupid I am!
My deep thanks to Paul, Alan, Wayne and Joel. I never ceased to be amazed at how kind and generous people are in giving their time and advice so freely.